Thursday, September 30, 2010

ArtPrize 2010

There are big things going on in Grand Rapids! It's the second annual Artprize competion. Grand Rapids Artprize brings artists from all over the world to be part of a public vote for a huge prize.
With a first prize of $250,000, more than 17,000 artists and 192 venues, the city is packed with art; on the sidewalks, in restaurants, hotels, parks, on the bridges and along the river! It's an amazing thing to see and people are coming from all over to see the art and to vote for their favorite.
My sister Terri and I spent the day on Thursday wandering around the city. We saw so many things and I'm going to share a few of our favorites, along with a few things that we didn't care for.

A spun glass exhibit.

I don't know what these are called but I thought they were pretty cool.

This is not what I consider art, but it made me laugh. This is an outfit to prevent social interaction. The hood makes you look straight ahead and not talk to anyone. I told Terri we should get one for her, because we always tease her that wherever she goes, she finds someone to talk to - and she talks a lot!

This was an exhibit on adoption, featuring these kids that were adopted here in the US and internationally.

This exhibit was so fun! There were all these tubes hanging down and when you walked through them, they made a variety of musical sounds. Jean Stauffer - I thought of Austin and how much he would have loved this one.

Does this look like art to you? We thought it looked like someone was cleaning their office, but I guess everyone has different tastes.

This one is made of 10,000 bars of Neutrogena soap. It smelled so good in this room!

Even the local news trucks are getting into the competition.

This exhibit is called Elephant Walk and is next to the Children's Museum. Their heads bob when the wind blows.

We liked this dragon.

This was one of our favorites. It's Martin Luther King; past, present and future. Here's the amazing part of it - it's made of Rubik's cubes; 4282 of them to be exact!

Here is a closeup of it. I can't imagine turning all those cubes to get the colors right and figuring out where each color should go.

This mosaic frog is reading the Lily Pad Daily.

This one isn't exciting to look at but so fun to see. When people walk up or wave their hands by the sensor, different chords would play. We saw a little boy having fun jumping up and down with a big smile on his face, listening to the music he was making.

This picture doesn't do this justice. There are all kinds of animals carved out of the roots - an eagle at the top, a turtle at the bottom, fish swimming out, a toucan, squirrels and foxes. It was really well done.

One man painted pianos and set them all over the city, so people could play on the streets. I played this one and we heard a few others as we walked.

This entire family of lions was made of nails.

Here is a closeup, so you can see the details.

Another neat dragon.

This is Parsifal, the steam pig. The idea was taken from a book by Jules Verne. Can you believe the size of it?

We had a great time and are already looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cooking Thursday Tangy Tender chicken

Time for another recipe! Sandra from Diary of a SAHM is hosting Cooking Thursday so head over to her place to see what's cooking today!

The recipe I'm sharing is new for us. It's a crockpot recipe that we all liked.

Tangy, Tender Chicken

1 pound baby carrots
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
6 skinless chicken pieces - breasts, tenders, thighs, whatever you like
20 ounce can pineapple chunks
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules or 2 bouillon cubes, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
hot, cooked rice

In 4-5 quart crockpot, place carrots, green pepper and onion on bottom. Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables.
Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Pour pineapple over chicken.
Add brown sugar, soy sauce, bouillon, salt, ginger and garlic powder to reserved pineapple juice; stir well and pour over ingredients in crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. gradually stir into crockpot juice and cook on high for about 30 minutes until thickened.
Serve over rice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guess who's coming home?

I made this widget at

It's been a long time but Andy is coming home! He hasn't been home since last Christmas so we are really looking forward to seeing him. He was actually supposed to be on leave starting the 15th so we were looking forward to a nice long time together, but they postponed his date. He will only be here for less than a week, because he is being transferred from Fort Carson in Colorado to Fort Campbell in Kentucky, where he will be joining the 101st Airborne division.
He has to report for duty there on October 10; which means that with time driving from Colorado to Michigan, and then from Michigan to Kentucky the time will be short.
Bob has vacation days to spare so he is flying down to Colorado on Thursday and will drive back home with Andy. We thought that would be a nice time for the two of them. They plan to be home Friday night. Andy will be gone for the weekend, but we have next week off and will do some fun things together. He will probably leave on the 8th.
I can't wait to see him!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tag, you're it!

I was tagged for this fun meme by my friend Sandra from Diary of a SAHM. She said she hadn't done a meme in quite a while and neither have I.
She asked me 8 questions:

1) What is your biggest pet peeve? Hmmm, I think it has to be rude people. I get really irritated when people cut in line, disregard rules or are mean to sales people.

2) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I would live right here in West Michigan. It's a beautiful area and we get to experience all four seasons. I'm also blessed in the fact that all of my family lives near me.

3) Have you ever been searched by the cops? Ha! That's a good question! No, but I'll tell you about the closest I ever came. When I was in high school, kids often TP'd (toilet papered) yards of friends. It was only done to people you liked and no one I knew ever got in trouble for it. (You know where this is going, don't you?) Anyway, one night a few friends and myself decided to TP the home of one of our youth leaders from church. We lived out in the country and this couple's home was out in farmland where there was very little traffic. So, we were running around the yard, spreading joy in our own way when a car came by, shining a light on us. They yelled out "Hey you" or something like that. We thought it was some of the guys from our youth group, so we took off running. Imagine my surprise when I ran around a corner, right into a police officer! The other girls where also caught and we were taken to the front door of the youth leaders home to check if they knew us. At this point there were a lot of laughs, even from the police. It didn't take long for the whole church to hear about it and it took some time to live this down!

4) What is the one thing on your mind right now? I'm looking forward to having next week off from work. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.

5) What is your favorite song right now? This song is actually being released on the 28th, but I heard it through a link on Facebook and I love it! It's Michael W Smith (Who is one of my all time favorites!) and the song is Save Me from Myself.

6) What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could draw. I can't believe what some people can do with a pencil and paper. Even my stick figures leave something to be desired!

7) What is your favorite drink? This is a pretty boring answer, but it would have to be Diet Coke. I don't like anything that I can taste alcohol in and I don't like coffee. I usually just drink water or Diet Coke.

8) Describe yourself in one word? Only one? That's hard! I guess I would say caring.

Thanks Sandra - this was fun!
I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to do this if you would like, and let me know if you do so I don't miss your answers.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Attack of the acorns

We have lots of oak tree in our front yard. It's wonderful to have the shade and beauty of the tree, but along with oak trees, comes acorns.
Each Fall we end up with acorns in the yard, but this year there are more than we have ever seen!
The past week has been really windy and the acorns have been hitting the roof and house like someone is firing them at us. One of the trees is over our bedroom and at night we hear them hitting the roof and rolling down.
Here are a few pictures to show you what I'm talking about:

The flowerbeds seem to have more acorns than plants.

1 week ago, Bob raked the lawn and cleaned off this walk. All of these have fallen in that time.

It's impossible to walk across the yard without stepping on acorns. My friend Alan, from 2010 Daily Photo showed a picture of something made by the Amish in his area. It's an Acorn picker. I think we need one!
I'm hoping most of the acorns have come down, but even as I type this, I hear more hitting the roof!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Antique Car Show

Yesterday we had a car show at the nursing home I work at. There is an antique car club that comes every year for this and our residents really enjoy it.
There are cars of various ages and the residents remember driving some of them. There are always smiles as they look around at them.
These cars are all in pristine condition and I enjoyed them too. I thought I would share a few of them with you.

I love the rumble seat on this one.

No trunks, so these were used for extra space. I bet they didn't stay this clean for long.

This is quite a classy car, I think.

And this one looks like something a gangster might use!

I love the wheels and the color on this one.

And this one is patriotic!
It was a fun morning, for staff and residents too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cooking Thursday

Sandra at Diary of a SAHM is hosting Cooking Thursday again. Go visit her for more recipes.
My recipe for today is for egg salad. Usually when I make it I just throw it together, but when I want to make a big batch, or something a little better than my usual, I use this recipe. I got this recipe from an older Dutch lady that went to our church when I was growing up. She had a big family and she said her boys liked this! We do too!

Yummy Egg Salad

1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 -1 cup mayonnaise

Mix well. Chill before serving.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

It's time for Works for Me Wednesday again!
It's about time to pack up our shorts and t-shirts and pull out the sweaters and sweatshirts. When I pack away my clothes for a season, I take dryer sheets and put a few between some of the clothing. Then when it's time to take them out again, they smell fresh and clean instead of musty. It works!
For more tips, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Here's the latest!

Yesterday I told you I would show you what Bob just finished making.
He finished the last piece of our bedroom suite. Before I show it to you, I'll share the pieces he finished before. This is all made of oak, and several pieces were made with wood from trees that were on my uncles land. He spent many years hunting on this same land so it adds to the sentimental value.

The bed was the first thing he finished.

This is his nightstand.

And this one is mine. I asked for one with a door, because I seem to collect a lot of stuff!

Bob uses this armoire for his clothes.

And this is what he just finished:
This is my dresser! It's beautiful and has good drawer glides so the drawers open and close easily. I really like the 4 small drawers across the top.

He added a nice surprise for me in one of them:
Isn't this great for my jewelry? The top section slides across the bottom part for ease of getting things out.
I love it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A few more carvings

A few weeks ago I shared some of the carvings Bob was working on. I thought I would show you the finished product of one of them along with another one that he recently finished.

This is the picture I showed you of the pirate bust, he was working on.

And here it is, completely done. He now has a gold earring and a gold tooth.

I love the the way the belts look!

This is his latest project. This fireman is from the 1930's. When I look at his face, I can almost see him thinking about how he is going to fight this fire!

Bob always adds some great details. I think this base really looks like an old cobblestone street!

When I showed you the carvings a few weeks ago, I said I would share the latest project Bob was working on. Well - now I'm going to. In tomorrows post I'll share what he made for me!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Unbelievable Pianist

Every once in a while we hear a story about someone who has overcome great difficulties and is able to do something that seems amazing to the rest of us.
This clip shows one of those people. It will only take 4 minutes of your time to watch it. You won't be sorry!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cooking Thursday

Here it is, almost Thursday and time for another recipe! Make sure you stop over at Sandra's place to see what everyone else is cooking!

I got the recipe I'm sharing today from Sara, of Make Music from your heart to the Lord.
My picture doesn't do it justice because it's all wrapped in the tortilla. You'll just have to take my word for it that it was good. It was easy too, and it's a bonus that it's a crock pot recipe!

Crock Pot Carne Asada

2 1/2 pounds lean stew meat
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
12 ounces beef broth
2 fresh jalapenos, chopped
1 small onion, cut into eighths

In a large ziploc bag, combine the chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic and oregano until blended. Put meat into bag and shake to cover it with the spices. Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, put the meat in the crockpot, along with the onion and jalapenos. Pour beef broth over all.
Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours.
Shred meat with 2 forks and serve with your favorite garnishes in flour tortillas.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

It's time for a Wednesday tip! To see lots of good ideas, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.

My tip is something I've heard about before, but never had a chance to try. However, last week I had cellulitis in my ankle. It was really warm and uncomfortable, and the urgent care Dr said it would be a good idea to put an ice pack on it. I don't have any ice packs in the house, but I remembered reading that a bag of frozen peas works well in a pinch.
I took the bag and wrapped a towel around it. The peas made it easy to wrap around my ankle and it really did help. I would put it back in the freezer if it started thawing.
Of course - when this was done I had to throw them away, but it was a small price to pay for an ice pack.
Hope you don't need this hint anytime soon, but if you do - it really works!
PS - the ankle is doing much better! I'm still on antibiotics for a few days.